What’s the Difference Between a Maturing Hairline vs a Balding One?
As you get older, you may notice that your hairline has been changing. It might be starting to take on a defined M-shape, or you might see that it recedes (moves back). What’s the difference between a maturing hairline and a balding one? Here, we answer all the questions you might have about maturing vs balding hairlines including which is natural, which is a problem that needs to be addressed and then how to go about addressing it?
Maturing hairline vs. Balding hairline
It’s easy to confuse a maturing hairline with a balding one, especially as you get older (between the ages of 17 to 30) and your hairline inevitably begins to change. A maturing hairline is completely normal for most men, and it simply involves your hairline moving back an inch to an inch and a half. A mature hairline will stop moving back over varying timelines, from years to a even a decade; the difference between a maturing vs balding hairline, however, is hair loss that does not stop.
In the case of a maturing hairline, you will experience some hair loss in the intermediary period between when your hairline starts to recede and when it stops; don’t worry, because 95% of men experience this same phenomenon. Look out for the signs below to really figure out whether that hair loss indicates a maturing vs balding hairline.
Signs of a balding hairline
It’s also difficult to tell regular hair loss (on average, it’s normal to lose around 50 to 100 hairs per day) from balding. Here are some characteristics to help you make the distinction between a maturing vs balding hairline.
Hair falling out in large clumps
On top of hair loss, which is a normal part of aging when your hairline is maturing, the way that your hair falls out is also important in determining whether you have a maturing or a balding hairline. If you find that your hair has fallen out in clumps after you’ve brushed your hair, finished showering, or gotten out of bed, then your hairline might be balding instead of maturing.
Between a maturing vs balding hairline, your hairline itself might look the same, but if you find bald patches elsewhere on your scalp, it could be a sign that your hairline is balding rather than maturing, and there’s a risk that your hairline might continue moving back.
Hairline shape is not maintained
Maturing hair often takes the form of an M-shaped hairline (and, of course, will stop receding after a certain time period). However, a balding hairline will continue to recede. If you have a balding hairline, even if at one point in time you have an M-shaped hairline that looks healthy, the hairline may not look the same in a few months.
Treatments for balding and maturing hairlines
Now that you know more about the difference between a maturing vs balding hairline, you might have found that you commonly see many of the above signs of balding. Here are some things you can do about it before it becomes more serious; or, if you’re relieved to find that your hairline is maturing rather than balding, here are some tips to maintain your good hair health.
Drugs for a balding hairline
- Minoxidil: The over-the-counter drug Minoxidil (also known as Rogaine) is an FDA-approved drug for hair thinning. Research has shown that it shows results for approximately two-thirds of women, though side effects of usage can often be a turn-off for potential users.
- Finasteride: Unlike Minoxidil, Finasteride (also known as Propecia), this FDA-approved drug is not over-the-counter. Research has discovered that it works best with men and women under 60 who are experiencing androgenic hair loss.
Lifestyle changes for a balding hairline
- A diet filled with antioxidants: Antioxidants help prevent aging, which is closely tied to hair loss and balding. Foods rich in antioxidants include broccoli, blueberries, kale, raspberries, pecans, and many more.
- Regular exercise: Hair loss has also been linked to stress, and regular exercise has been proven to reduce this. The National Health Service recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.
- Reducing alcohol consumption: Heavy drinking may result in your gut becoming less efficient at absorbing the nutrients that your scalp needs to prevent balding. So even if you’re on the healthiest of diets, it could all be canceled out by a heavy alcohol intake! If you drink, consider consuming less alcohol if you’re balding.
Taking care of a maturing hairline
Even if your hair isn’t balding, the risk that your hair goes from maturing to balding is always present (especially as you get older.) Here are some tips to help you maintain your maturing hairline:
- Hair oil: Especially during winter where the climate tends to get very dry, it’s easy for your hair to lose water and break. Putting oil in your hair will help in preventing water loss in your scalp’s cells.
- Be cautious in the sun: Even normal hair can be damaged by the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Consider wearing a hat on especially sunny days.
- Eat a balanced diet: This method is the same as with treating a balding hairline. Consuming a healthy, balanced diet has proven benefits for hair health.